The Irish Times
Although Starlings are considered pests by many, they are actually one of my favourite birds. They are full of character and certainly cause quite a stir at my bird table. Starlings are very well known for their chattering and mimicking. Indeed they can be taught to speak; this is even referred to in the writings of Shakespeare. It seems apt that the chattering bird should be seen sitting on one of Ireland's most popular newspaper signs, helping to spread the news! In 1890, 100 Starlings were released into North America by a group dedicated to introducing all the birds mentioned in the works of Shakespeare. Today there are over 200 million Starlings ranging from Alaska to Florida to Northern Mexico. It is estimated that they cause over 800 million dollars worth of damage to agricultural crops each year!